Osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice medicine in the United States. This type of doctor holds full medical and surgical privileges in all 50 states. The training for an Osteopathic physician involves four years of academic study and one year of internship. It also includes a National licensure exam. The education required to become an Osteopathic physician is relatively straightforward.
Doctors of osteopathic medicine
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) are a type of licensed physicians. They can practice medicine in all 50 US states and have full medical and surgical practice rights. There are 38 osteopathic medical schools in the US. Graduates of these schools are licensed to practice medicine as physicians.
Touro Medical School in Harlem, New York, is one such school. There, students spend five hours a week learning osteopathic techniques. This includes manipulating the spine and muscles of a patient. In addition, they are encouraged to participate in research projects with professors.
Osteopathic physicians – Four-year academic program
The four-year academic program for osteopathic doctors provides students with the skills they need to practice the art of medicine. The coursework includes both clinical and classroom learning. Students will have opportunities to work in various medical facilities during their studies. Students will also engage in research and teaching.
Typically, students begin their training by completing an undergraduate degree—many major in science, such as biology or chemistry. The four-year academic program for osteopathic physicians includes core science courses and clinical rotations in primary care and various specialties. Upon completion of the program, students will then complete a one to three-year residency.
As part of an internship year, osteopathic medical students may choose to work at an AACOM hospital. This internship program emphasizes the osteopathic philosophy of total health care through intensive participation in patient care. Participants gain valuable experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
After completing their internship year, osteopathic physicians can apply for licensure from the state medical board. Each state has different requirements for licensure, though most will accept the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA as the first step toward licensure.
National licensure exam
The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) administers the national licensing exam for osteopathic physicians (NLO). While COMLEX Level-1 is not required to become an osteopathic physician, many schools require students to pass it before completing third-year clinical rotations. The USMLE Step-1 and Step-2 are not taken in any particular order. However, Step 3 is needed to be taken after a residency match.
The COMLEX-USA is a three-level national standardized examination that measures knowledge and clinical skills in osteopathic medicine. To be eligible for the third year of residency training, students taking the COMLEX-USA must pass Levels 1, 2-PE, and 3. Students can practice taking the test by attending the Exam Center during regular office hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The exam center also offers virtual and phone appointments for students.
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